How Kids Learn About Money Through Board Games

How Kids Learn About Money Through Board Games

Of course money is nothing to play around with, but for decades kids have learned about money by playing some popular games that their parents played as kids. Who knew that while they were rolling the dice and moving their player pieces around a colorful montage of blocks and symbols, they were actually learning how to manage their finances.

If you recall, there are a few games that actually use play money to use as an exchange, just like in real life. What’s cool is that kids can understand about earning income, paying bills and because of unexpected expenses. These games usually involve multiple players and are loads of fun.

Here are some games that are still popular decades later.


This game was first commercially sold in the 1930s by game and toy maker Hasbro. It’s still one of the most popular board games ever played in the United States. It involves about four players moving various shaped objects around a square board to buy property like houses and hotels. They can collect rent from other players who land on their property. You can collect and pay fees according to “Chance” and “Community Chest” cards. This is all done with color coded imitation money. During the game players must complete certain tasks based on where they move their pieces on the board. The winner is the player with the most money and property at the end of the game.

The Game of Life

This game was first introduced in the 1800s by Milton Bradley. It involves four to six players and sometimes up to eight, depending on the variation. The game is a model of how a person progresses through life. They go through common events like college, jobs and retirement. They even can get married and have children. It also involves moving player pieces around a colorful board. The winner is determined by who has the largest net worth after deciding on basic life choices, which include family, children and career.

Pay Day

This game was originally created by Parker Brothers and is based on budgeting and managing money every month. Players use pieces to move around a board, which is set up like a 31 day calendar. Each player starts the game with a specific amount of cash and must use it to pay bills, loan payments and random expenses until they get another paycheck at the end of the month. Players are able to receive cash windfalls during the game. The game even involves using a calculator. Players can play for as many “months” as they would like. The player with the highest net worth at the end of the game is the winner.

These games are still available to purchase in stores and online. Plan a game night with your family and watch the kids have fun and learn about money matters at the same time.

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